14 Jun 2012


Despite my love of film, until some wonderful person decides that they want to pay me for the privilege watching movies I have to be highly selective on what films I watch at the cinema (I did have the opportunity for working for the film censor but that does not interest me at all). Many things can entice me into going to  see a film on the big screen; a director who has a great aesthetic style, good actors, a great story, and monsters. Individually all of those can tempt me to place my hard earned pacific pesos out of my Scottish like grip and into the hand of a vacuous teenager.. 

 Prometheus  had a great deal of temptation on offer; Director Ridley Scott, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idres Elba, the delicious CharlizeTheron (siiiiigh)  and the promise of a new movie in the Alien  franchise that wasn’t completely bollocks. On that note a friend of mine decided to re-watch  the Alien  movies before he saw  Prometheus last weekend and he said that he was glad they only made two movies.  I appreciate this sentiment.
Mmmmm Raspberry Slice...

But with anticipation bordering on the promise of a raspberry slice and a glass of Pepperjack I watched the promo trailers. And with a terrible dread reminiscent the trauma of A phantom Menace  I worried that this movie would be terrible. 

So was it?

Here is a brief Synopsis:

Doctors Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan-Marshall Green) have discovered the same constellation depicted in cave paintings and murals in several different and geographically removed cultures around the world. With evidence that they have proof of alien contact with early man, they convince a powerful corporation (Weyland Industries) to fund an expedition to this constellation where there is a moon capable of supporting life.  The scientists beleive that these aliens actually engineered life on earth. The corporation has their own agenda, but no one is prepared for the truth that lies on that distant moon.

Ensue science fiction hijinxs!
The acting is superb! Michael Fassbender steals every scene he appears in with his performance as David the android. Noomi Rapace gave a good performance that was only restrained by her script. I can see how many people could critic Charleze for her wooden acting, but then that was the nature of her character,  an aspect that was humorously referenced in the script.  Idris Elba, Rafe Spall and Guy Pearce (for his brief role) all gave great performances which I enjoyed. 

Scott's direction and style makes this film exquisite to watch.  The sets are reminiscent of the first film Alien as you can expect from a prequel, (you see a little 2001 A Space Odyssey as well) Scott went to great lengths to create an environment to be true to the first film.  Scott decided to steer away form a lot of CGI and green screens. he took the time and effort to create physical sets so the actors would have a tangible set to surround and interact with. And it pays off by accentuating the performance of these great actors.

Continuity wise the technology on the ship Prometheus will seem more advanced than what was on the Nostromo but I am not sure that can be helped. Modern audiences have expectations, and I think this is a dammed if you do dammed if you don’t position to be in as a director. I think Scott made the right decison  go with the shiny lights.  

And in regards to the genre? Is it a horror reminiscent of  Alien? Well there were a couple of scenes which made the audience physically flinch in horror and surprise. I haven’t seen that in a while, and  I think given the jaded nature of modern cinematic audiences that is an achievement in itself.  

So sets, acting, effects, music, direction all great shiny and new is this the best film ever made? Well no it’s not. I was sold  Prometheus as a prequel to  Alien  so I cannot not help but to judge it as such. And as a massive fan of the first two movies my standards were high, especially after the disappointments of the later films and the hype surrounding Prometheus.  There are several plot holes that you could drive a tractor through. Some apparent during the film some that I had overlooked at the time but then came back to haunt me like a mean ex-girlfriend at a BBQ.  Scott went to so much trouble trying to create a story and a setting that leads you to Alien  that you establish have some expectations. Elements of the film did disappointed me in regards to franchise continuity. 

But let me be clear it did not suck. It certianly was not an overwhelming disappointment that quickly led to rage and then wine and then ranting and more wine and so on.  As a standalone film I think Prometheus is  enjoyable on many levels.  I think it let itself down unnecessarily and as someone invested in watching  it as a prequel this detracted from my enjoyment overall.

Five 1/2 space monkeys and if you want to see it I recomend that you make the effort to see it on the big screen.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more John. As much as I tried to go into this with an open mind, I too had high expectations. Were they met? Without going into too much detail, ummm... yes and no :) Nice to see there were a few loose ends left to open to give us a sequel to this prequel too.